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Costs and Cost Analysis, Databases, Bibliographic, Evidence-Based Medicine, Information Storage and Retrieval, Internet, Medline, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Software/economics


The Internet has created new opportunities for librarians to present literature search results to clinicians. In order to take full advantage of these opportunities, libraries need to create locally maintained bibliographic databases. A simple method of creating a local bibliographic database and publishing it on the Web is described. The method uses off-the-shelf software and requires minimal programming. A hedge search strategy for outcome studies of clinical process interventions is created, and Ovid is used to search MEDLINE. The search results are saved and imported into EndNote libraries. The citations are modified, exported to a Microsoft Access database, and published on the Web. Clinicians can use a Web browser to search the database. The bibliographic database contains 13,803 MEDLINE citations of outcome studies. Most searches take between four and ten seconds and retrieve between ten and 100 citations. The entire cost of the software is under $900. Locally maintained bibliographic databases can be created easily and inexpensively. They significantly extend the evidence-based health care services that libraries can offer to clinicians.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, v. 88, no. 2, p. 139-144